Additional Courses


Online Learning


Seafarers now have educational opportunities through the Internet.


Eligible members of the SIU may now take courses online by registering with the Paul Hall Center Admissions Department as they would for classes on the Paul Hall Center campus. Once Seafarers have been accepted by Admissions, they will be directed to Dale Rausch in the Academic Department. Dale is the Computer Assisted Learning (CAL) administrator, the distance learning component for the Paul Hall Center for Maritime Training and Education.


Online Courses Available

The following formal online courses are available:

  • MSC Environmental Awareness
  • First Aid Preparation
  • Hazardous Material Control and Management
  • Hearing Conservation
  • Heat Stress Management
  • Shipboard Pest Management
  • Respiratory Protection
  • Shipboard Water Sanitation


The following prep training is available:

  • Basic Math Refresher
  • Intermediate Math Refresher
  • Marine Engineering Mathematics Preparation
  • Introduction to Navigational Math
  • Basic Culinary Skills
  • Chief Cook Preparation Course


Students who are currently enrolled in resident classes at the Paul Hall Center are encouraged to enroll in CAL courses. Residential students should notify the Admissions Department of their interest in CAL and confirm their eligibility.


Academic Courses

The Academic Department has a long history of providing support and services to students at the Paul Hall Center. Since the founding of the school in Piney Point, Md., there has been academic support for students taking vocational programs as well as for those students who require basic skills, English language skills or wish to continue their education. There are a variety of opportunities offered to all students. Specific questions about the programs can be answered or explained by contacting the Academic Department at (301) 994-0010, ext. 5411.


General Education Program – High School Diploma

The GED program is open to all mariners who do not have a high school diploma. Assistance is offered to prepare students to take the test in Maryland or in their home state. Emphasis is placed on writing skills, social studies, science, interpreting literature and art, and mathematics. GED students receive individualized instruction in preparation for the test. The school for many years has successfully prepared mariners to pass the test. For many students, this is a milestone in their lives. (A 12-week residency is required prior to taking the test in Maryland .)


Basic Vocational Support Program

The vocational support system assists students in improving course-specific vocational language and mathematical skills. It is designed to augment the skills introduced in their vocational training classes. This program may be taken prior to attending the vocational class or concurrently with the vocational class. It is ideal for those students who have been away from the classroom, need to improve basic academic skills or who are not native English speakers.


The Adult Basic Education assistance program (ABE) helps students improve their basic language, technical vocabulary and mathematical skills. These skills help students experience greater success in both vocational and academic classes. Students who receive low scores on the Test of Adult Basic Education (TABE) benchmark examinations, given at the Paul Hall Center, are encouraged to avail themselves of support from the Academic Department through this program. Students may use this service while attending the Trainee program or attending upgrader classes.


The English as a Second Language assistance program helps students in Basic English and technical vocabulary skills. This program addresses the needs of seafarers who have not learned English as their native language and who have difficulty speaking, hearing, understanding and/or writing the English language. Tutoring is offered throughout the year for those students requiring additional instruction while attending vocational classes.


College Program

The Paul Hall Center is a degree-granting institution approved by the Maryland Higher Education Commission. Students may apply for college credit for many of the vocational courses that they take while upgrading at the school. In addition, the center offers some of the general education courses required for the associate’s degree. The school currently offers Associate of Applied Science degree programs in Nautical Science Technology (deck department students) or Marine Engineering Technology (engine department students). There also is a certificate program in maritime technology with concentrations in nautical science or marine engineering. All programs are designed to provide the opportunity for mariners to earn a college degree or certificate in their occupational areas. Students are required to complete a total of 60 to 70 college hours to earn a degree. It is recommended that students meet with a counselor to plan a college program.

The course schedule may change to reflect the needs of the membership, the industry or the national interest. Seafarers should continue to consult each monthly edition of the Seafarers LOG for the most up-to-date course schedule.

For additional information, contact the Paul Hall Center, P.O. Box 75, Piney Point, MD 20674-0075; telephone (301) 994-0010.

A 5 day Introduction to Computers course is offered every week.